PA officials imposed "a near-media blackout." Arafat family members and lawyers representing his widow, Suha, were excluded from attending his exhumation. No reason was given.
Experts examining samples include a French toxicologist, pathologist, and legal medicine generalist. Switzerland's Radiophysique (SR) is part of the investigation. Russian experts will conduct their own independent analysis.
Al Jazeera said if polonium killed Arafat, "very little".will remain at this point. Polonium-210, the isotope found on (his) personal effects, has a half-life of 138 days."
It means half the substances decays "every four-and-a-half months. Scientists say that eight years is about the limit for recovering a useful sample, and a longer delay would have made it impossible to recover a workable sample."
Tests will take months before findings are announced.
Natural polonium "replenishes itself after decaying." Unsupported polonium from unnatural sources does not.
When results are known, French courts will decide what's next. Arafat died in Paris. France maintains legal jurisdiction.
Earlier this year, Suha requested a murder investigation. In August, it was approved. French judges began "collecting Arafat's medical records and other evidence." Efforts are proceeding quietly.
Al Jazeera said PA security officers harassed their reporters. They tailed them "in cars and on foot, and at one point broke into the network's hotel rooms."
Abbas is a longtime Israeli collaborator. He may have coverup in mind. He originally blocked an autopsy. Arafat was buried suspiciously fast. It doesn't happen when foul play is suspected.
On November 27, Maan News said PA officials "will start legal proceedings against Israel at the (ICC) if forensic tests prove (Arafat) was murdered." Chief investigator Tawfiq Tirawi said:
" We have evidence and indications that (Arafat) was killed, including remarks by Israeli leaders that they must get rid of Arafat, but we need evidence to submit to the International Criminal Court."- Advertisement -
Foul play was suspected all along. Clear evidence is hard to deny. At the same time, responsibility may be hard to prove.
Israel will go all-out to prevent it. Washington will help. Expect Abbas to be party to coverup. Longtime collaborators don't turn a page. They don't reinvent themselves honorably as saints.